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11 Hardy Vegetables To Grow in your Garden

11 Hardy Vegetables To Grow in your Garden

Setting up a vegetable patch in your garden is a rewarding experience. 

You get to serve up the freshest tastiest veggies grown in your own space. They are free of herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals. 

You will be amazed at how good home-grown vegetables taste. 

You also save loads of money buying less-than-enticing veggies from the store. 

Here are our suggestions and tips on some of the hardy vegetables you can grow in your garden. 

You don’t want to be disappointed, so we have chosen 11 that are well known and very easy to grow. 

Let’s take a look! 

 

11 Hardy vegetables to grow in your garden

  1. Peas
  2. Brussel Sprouts
  3. Carrots
  4. Radishes
  5. Cucumbers
  6. Kale
  7. Tomatoes
  8. Lettuce
  9. Beets
  10. Potatoes
  11. Green Beans

 

1. Peas

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Unlike some vegetables, peas are veggies that are enjoyed by most people, including children – even if the young ones just enjoy chasing them around their dinner plate! 

Peas thrive in moist, fertile, and well-draining soil. They are happy in full sun and won’t tolerate frost. 

It is a known fact that peas growing in full sun taste sweeter than peas that get more shade. 

Prepare your patch with a mix of compost and soil a few weeks before planting. 

Keep it moist and aerated by turning over the bed once or twice before planting. 

If you are planting pea plants, space them about 3 inches (10cm) apart on all sides. 

If you are starting with seeds, speed up the germination process by soaking them in water overnight before planting. Place seeds about 1 inch (2.5cm) deep into the soil. 

The best time to plant or sow is from mid-Spring onwards. 

Peas like to climb. You can buy climbing support from your local garden shop, or you can make one on your own. 

When the tendrils emerge from the soil, gently guide them onto the support. 

Peas do not need much attention. You can fertilize once during the growing season. 

They enjoy a mix that is rich in phosphorus and potassium and lower in nitrogen. 

Too much nitrogen encourages foliage growth rather than the growth of pea pods. 

If your pea leaves turn yellow, this is a sign of heat stress caused by very hot weather. 

If you are experiencing exceptionally hot and dry conditions, consider putting up a temporary shade and water your plants well. 

From time to time, check your bed and remove any weeds that you find climbing up the supports with the peas. They will absorb valuable nutrients out of the soil.

Pick your peas just before eating. They are often sweet enough to eat raw, straight off the plant. 

 

2. Brussel Sprouts

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Brussel sprouts do get their name from a famous European city– Brussels! Sounds too easy to be true, but apparently, they are loved in Brussels, Belgium. 

While most people don’t enjoy Brussel sprouts, this is probably a result of overcooking, until they become bland and mushy. 

Freshly picked Brussel sprouts with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and black pepper make a healthy, tasty, and nutritious side dish. 

Brussel sprouts enjoy rich, fertile soil. Prepare your bed and mix in some organic compost before planting. 

The young plants enjoy firmer soil, so you can choose a heavier clay-like mix. 

This plant has a long growing season of up to 180 days. 

Unlike most plants, Brussel sprouts enjoy a slight nip in the air and even tolerate a small amount of frost. 

Start your seedlings in a seed tray with a fertile germinating mix. Keep the soil moist. 

Within 6 to 10 days the seeds will start germinating. Do not let the seeds dry out. 

You can also use a light spray organic fertilizer on the small plants.

When the seedlings are about 4 inches (10cm) high you can transplant them into your garden. This should happen after about 4 to 5 weeks. Space the seedlings about 18 inches to 20 inches (40cm to 60cm) apart. 

Water regularly. Brussel sprouts tend to become bitter if left to dry out. 

Fertilize one month after planting and again one month after that. 

Check and remove any weeds that grow near the sprouts. They will use up vital nutrients found in the soil. 

If your plants are in lighter soil, they may become top-heavy and topple over. 

Prop them up with extra soil around the base for support until they become strong enough to stand on their own. 

When ready, pick, cook, and enjoy! 

 

3. Carrots

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The everyday carrot is known by the tongue-twisting Latin name Daucus carota subsp. Sativus. 

Growing carrots at home is easy and fun. 

They may not look like your perfectly straight grocery-store variety, but they are sure to be fresher and tastier. 

Choose a spot with full sun or that is partly shaded. 

Carrots prefer loose, sandy soil with a neutral pH. 

pH is the amount of acid or base in your soil. To test your pH, you can purchase a small home kit. 

pH values range from 0 to 14. 7 is neutral, any number under 7 is acidic. 

Prepare your patch and ensure that there are no rocks, stones, or hard clumps of soil. Carrots like to grow unimpeded. 

If your natural soil is very heavy, consider creating a raised bed that is at least 12 inches (30cm deep). The roots must be allowed to push down through the soil easily. 

When adding fertilizer, avoid mixes that are very rich in nitrogen. Choose one that has high potassium and phosphorus levels but low in nitrogen. 

Plant your seeds in rows about 1/4 inch (1/2cm) deep and about 2 inches to 3 inches (5cm to 7.5cm) apart. 

Keep each row about 12 inches (30cm) from the other. 

The best time to sow your carrot seeds is in mid-spring. To ensure a steady crop, plant new seeds every 3 weeks through the spring season. 

Keep the soil moist with frequent waterings. Be patient, it may take up to 3 weeks for any signs of life to appear! 

When your carrots reach the desired size, harvest and eat. 

Carrots can be stored successfully in air-tight containers in the refrigerator.

 

4. Radishes

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Radishes add a crunchy texture to any fresh salad. They are hardy and are super easy to grow in your home garden. 

Radishes are ready for harvesting around 24 days after planting, making them a fun veggie for beginner gardeners to start with.

The best time to plant your radish seeds is in spring or fall. 

Do not plant in the middle of summer when it is too hot. This will cause the plants to bolt. 

This means that the plant will show a growth spurt and put out flowers to seed before the vegetables are ready for harvesting. 

In effect, you will get poor or no edible veggies! 

Find a spot in your garden that gets full sunlight. 

Prepare your bed with loamy, sandy soil. Try to avoid soils that are clay or very heavy. 

Radishes prefer soil with a neutral pH.

Space your radish seeds 2 inches (5 cm) apart and about 1/2 inch (1 cm) deep. You can cover the seeds with a layer of compost. 

Radishes are much like carrots. They want soil that allows the roots to grow with interruption. 

Many gardeners often combine carrots and radishes in one bed. 

The radishes sprout first and break up any crust that may have formed on the top of the soil, helping the carrots to sprout. 

Keep your soil moist but not waterlogged. You can add a thin layer of mulch to help retain moisture if your weather is very hot. 

When the roots are about 1 inch (2.5cm) in diameter at the soil surface, it is time to harvest. 

Don’t leave the ripe radishes in the soil. They will rot and become inedible. 

Like carrots, radishes can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator. 

 

5. Cucumbers

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Cucumbers are another must-have addition to any fresh garden salad. They are hardy and easy to grow, as long as they have warmth and regular waterings.

Choose a sunny spot in your garden and designate it as your cucumber patch. Cucumbers prefer loamy soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH level around 6.5 to 7.0. 

Prepare your bed with a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and potassium. Water well and allow it to stand for about a week before planting. 

A spot next to a fence is ideal as it will act as a shelter and also allow the cucumbers to climb. 

Check with your local nursery whether you are buying vining or bush cucumbers. 

Vining cucumbers prefer to be trained up a trellis or fence. 

Bush cucumbers can be grown in smaller gardens or even in pots. 

Climbing cucumbers should be trained to grow on a trellis or fence. If not, the fruit may start to rot if you leave it standing in moist soil for too long. 

Start your seeds indoors in a seedling tray in April. Prepare to transplant outside in late May. 

Cucumbers are very susceptible to frost and damage from the cold. Seeds will thrive best in temperatures around 70ºF (21ºC). 

Plant the seedlings about 1 inch (2.5cm) deep and about 2 feet (60cm) apart. Most of the seed packets will give you the instructions. 

You can plant 2 to 3 seedlings together and thin them once they start to grow. Add organic mulch to your soil to keep pests away. 

Cucumbers love warmth. If your climate is cooler, consider using plastic covers to keep in the heat overnight. 

Don’t let your cucumbers grow too large before harvesting. The larger they get, the more bitter the taste. 

 

6. Kale

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Kale is the new leafy-green superfood and is a vital component of healthy diets and green smoothies. 

Kale can be steamed, baked, stir-fried and blended. The amazing thing about kale is that you can eat the stems, leaves, buds, and flowers. 

Join the health fans and plant some in your home garden. 

Kale is hardy and easy to grow. It is happiest in full sun but can tolerate part sun. 

It can even deal with a bout of frost that actually makes it sweeter. 

You can plant it in spring or even late summer as it will tolerate cooler weather going into autumn. 

Many health fans claim that kale grown in winter tastes better. 

Prepare your veggie bed with loamy soil that is neutral to slightly alkaline. This means that your pH value should be around 7.5. 

The soil must be able to drain well and should not be clogged. Add nitrogen-rich compost before planting your seeds.

Sow your seeds about 1/2 inch (1cm) deep and 8 inches to 12 inches (20cm to 30cm) apart. Kale likes to spread, so allow for space between your plants. 

If you find that they are too cramped, thin out by removing the least healthy-looking plants from your patch. 

After planting the seeds, water well. They need about 1 gallon per square foot (3.7 liters per 30cm square cm) of water per week. 

Add mulch to the earth or soil to retain water. Kale does not enjoy hot weather and mulch will help to keep it cool. 

When the leaves cover your hand, you can pick them already off the plant. Start picking with the oldest leaves first at the bottom of the plant. 

You can eat the small leaves straight off the plant. Larger leaves can be cooked or blended. 

 

7. Tomatoes

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Tomatoes are the major source of antioxidants that aid the body to fight off disease. They are known to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. 

One such tomato is the German Queen Tomato.

They also provide vital vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

Tomatoes are hardy and easy to grow at home. They taste so much sweeter than the packaged ones from the local grocery store.

The first thing to know about tomatoes is that they love the sun and warm weather. They won’t tolerate frost or too much cold. 

Tomato plants will need at least 6 hours of full sunlight a day. For best results, 8 to 10  hours is ideal. 

Your soil should be loamy and well-draining, slightly acidic to neutral. Use your home testing kit and check for pH values of 6.5 to 7.0.

Planting is best started in late spring and early summer. Do not attempt to plant your tomatoes in the winter season. 

Tomatoes have a longer growing season and are best started from starter plants rather than seeds. Get some from your local nursery. 

Look for plants that have a dark green color and strong stems about 1/4 inch (1/2cm) thick. Choose plants with no flowers or fruits. 

If you prefer to start with seeds, sow them into a seedling tray, keep moist, and allow them to germinate indoors in a warm room. 

Transplant your plants into your garden after the last frost. Best soil temperatures should be around 60°F (15°C). 

Tomatoes need caging or staking. This will keep the fruits off the ground and they won’t rot in damp soil. 

You can purchase stakes and caging or make it a family challenge to build your own! 

Do not use a fertilizer that contains high nitrogen levels. This will cause the plant to produce foliage instead of fruit. 

Plant your seedlings 3 inches deep (7.5cm) deep and 2 feet (60cm apart). The plants will spread rapidly. 

Water well and add organic compost to boost growth. 

 

8. Lettuce

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Lettuce is another hardy vegetable that beginner gardeners can grow successfully at home. 

They enjoy soil that is loamy and well-draining, slightly acidic to neutral. Use your home testing kit and check for pH values of 6.5 to 7.0. 

This versatile veggie wants a position of full sun to part sun. Ideally, it should get about 6 hours of sun per day. 

Lettuce is a cool-season crop that thrives best in spring and fall. It does require much maintenance and will be happy with regular watering.  

You can plant your lettuce seeds when your soil reaches temperatures of around 55°F to 65°F (13°C to 18°C). Seedlings will appear within 7 to 10 days. 

Prepare your patch with loamy soil that is well-draining. Remove any stones, clods, and leftover roots from previous plants. 

Work some organic compost into the soil a week before planting. Keep it well watered but not drenched. 

Plant your seeds just under the topsoil. Lettuce wants light and pushing the seed in too deep will inhibit the growth. 

Leave about 12 inches (30cm) between rows. Water well and regularly.

To keep aphids away, many experienced gardeners plant garlic or chives in amongst the lettuce plants. They act as a natural deterrent.

Fertilize during the growing season using an organic fertilizer. 

If you see that the leaves are wilting, grab your hose or watering can and water at any time.

 

9. Beets

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Beets, also known as beetroots, are healthy, colorful additions to any meal. They can be added to salads or prepared as a side dish. 

Beets contain large quantities of iron and potassium. They are also known to help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow. 

Home-grown beets taste so good, you won’t recognize what you are eating! 

Beets enjoy full sun or part sun. Ensure that they get at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. 

Beets want loamy soil that is slightly acidic to neutral. They won’t do well in soil that is too acidic. Check that your pH level is above 6.0.

Although beets grow best in well-prepared well-draining soil, they can thrive in soil that is less fertile and less well cared for. 

Soak your seeds for a full 24 hours before you start planting them. This will speed up germination. 

Sow your beet seeds in early spring. Plant them 1/2 inch (1cm) deep and about 1 foot (30cm) apart. 

After planting, cover the soil with a layer of organic compost and water well. Keep your soil well-watered. 

If you find weeds growing, remove them carefully. The roots of beets are shallow and you do not want to disturb them. 

Beets will be ready to harvest about 2 months after planting. They can grow to the size of a golf ball or larger. 

Remove gently from the soil and shake off excess soil. Wash well and prepare for dinner.

 

10. Potatoes

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Once you start a vegetable garden, you cannot forget potatoes –  one of the most versatile and well-loved veggies of all time. 

Who can resist deep-fried chips, baked potatoes, potato dumplings, or a summer potato salad? 

To grow potatoes, you need a spot with full sun and loamy, sandy soil. They prefer soil that is slightly acidic. 

Plan to plant your potatoes in the early part of spring. They grow best in cool, loose soil that is well-draining. 

Ensure that your spot gets at least 6 hours of full sunlight per day. 

Unlike other vegetables, potatoes are planted from a seed potato piece. These are not seeds. They are pieces cut from a grown potato that has buds growing out of them. 

The buds, or eyes, will develop into new potato plants. Cut your own potatoes that are sprouting buds, or buy them from your local plant shop. 

You can prepare them a few days before planting and allow them to stand to form a protective layer over the surface. 

Prepare your planting area by digging a trench about 6 inches (15cm) wide and 8 inches (20cm) deep. 

Place rich organic compost into the bottom of the trench. Now place your seed potatoes into the trench with the cut side facing downwards.

Space them about 12 inches (30cm) apart. 

Water well and watch for the sprouts that will appear about 2 weeks after planting. 

At this stage, you can fill in the trench with more fertile soil, leaving the tops of the plants exposed.

Do this every few weeks until you have a mound around each plant that stands about 5 inches (12cm) above the ground level. This process is called hilling. 

When you see that the foliage starts to die, the potatoes are ready for harvesting

 

11. Green beans

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Jack and the Beanstalk is an all-time children’s favorite story. Why not grow your own beanstalk in your garden?

There are two types of beans – bush beans and pole beans. 

Pole beans need a trellis or fence to climb. Bush beans grow in a bush-shape and won’t need additional support. 

Beans can grow in both loamy and clay soil. They enjoy the full sun for at least 6 hours per day. 

Seeds are best planted in spring when the weather warms up. 

Planting when it is too cold will result in delayed germination and you may end up with rotting roots and plants that won’t grow. 

Beans have very fragile roots and seeds are best started outdoors in your garden. Transplanting them from a seed tray may cause the young  plants to go into shock and die. 

Prepare your patch with fertile soil and water well. Ensure that is well-draining, with a slightly acidic to neutral pH value of 6.5 to 7.0. 

Plant bush bean seeds 2 inches (5cm) apart and 1 inch (2.5cm) deep. Place your rows 18 inches (45cm) apart. 

For pole beans, plant your seeds near the trellis or support. Add mulch to the soil to keep it moist and cool. 

Do not add nitrogen fertilizer. Beans add their own nitrogen into the soil and too much will cause leaves to grow instead of pods. 

Experienced gardeners tell us that the best time to pick beans is early in the morning when they are at their sweetest. 

So, get the family up and enjoy a bonding bean-picking session as the sun rises! 

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